Pennsylvania Record

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Woman who sued frat over scalding marshmallow at UPenn Halloween party drops lawsuit

Lawsuits

By Nicholas Malfitano | May 30, 2019


PHILADELPHIA – A guest at a University of Pennsylvania fraternity’s Halloween party in 2017, who sued after a lit marshmallow allegedly burned her on the back, withdrew her complaint shortly after filing it.

On Sept. 28, plaintiff Jessica Davis requested her complaint be withdrawn without prejudice. Three days later, on Oct. 1, U.S. District Court Judge Timothy J. Savage granted her request.

Davis, of Barrington, Ill., initially filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District Court of Pennsylvania on Sept. 19 versus Single Eye Productions, LLC (a.k.a. “Vintage Wear, LLC”), Cheeky Winston, LLC, Vadim Ordovsky-Tanaevsky, Patrick Lobo, Edmund Hammond and Psi Upsilon, all of Philadelphia, Abdul Mused 1234, LLC of Brooklyn, N.Y. and Psi Upsilon International Office, of Indianapolis.

According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff was a guest of the University of Pennsylvania’s chapter of the Psi Upsilon fraternity house on Oct. 27, 2017, for their “Magic Gardens Fling” Halloween party.

The only way to gain access to the party was to purchase an entry bracelet, either online or on campus for $60, which provided for guests to enjoy unlimited drinks, free barbecue, fire pits, live DJ’s, Silent Disco, 360 Dome, deep house bus, fire performers and pirates.

“Upon information and belief, defendants sold approximately 1,000 bracelets or approximately $60,000 worth of bracelets. Despite having an attendance of approximately 1,000 young adults between the supposed ages of 21 and to 25 years old, the defendants only hired two security guards to work the front gate,” the complaint read.

The litigation added that the security present were allegedly only on hand to verify guests possessing the necessary entry bracelet and never at any point entered the party, oversaw the active fire pits or supervised the intoxication level of the guests.

“At approximately 11:30 p.m., the plaintiff, who was wearing an open-back shirt, was standing near a fire pit. At the same time, an unidentified guest, who upon information and belief was visibly intoxicated, was roasting a giant marshmallow. The marshmallow that the unidentified and visibly intoxicated guest was roasting suddenly caught fire,” the suit stated.

“Due to her visibly intoxicated state, the unidentified guest panicked, and started shaking her stick in hopes of extinguishing the flame surrounding the marshmallow. Due to the unidentified and visibly intoxicated guest shaking the stick, the on-fire marshmallow flew off the stick, and stuck to the plaintiff's back. As a result, the plaintiff suffered a significant burn injury to her back, and subsequent permanent scarring.”

The plaintiff claimed the defendants were responsible for placing and permitting dangerous fire pits without providing adequate security, placing and permitting dangerous fire pits knowing that they would be used by college-aged students who were supplied with unlimited alcohol and failing to exercise reasonable care and caution in protecting the plaintiff from being burned by a visibly-intoxicated guest, among other charges.

Prior to settlement and for counts of negligence and negligent entrustment, the plaintiff is seeking damages of $150,000, plus interest, costs and any other damages the court should deem just.

The plaintiff was represented by Kevin Clancy Boylan of Morgan & Morgan, in Philadelphia.

The defendants did not secure legal counsel, according to court records.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania case 2:18-cv-04050

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at nick.malfitano@therecordinc.com

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